Once a ‘major display of town and country,’ the event is back for King Street Festival

The Manchester Flower Show has some serious roots: once an annual fixture in Platt Fields Park, it dates back to 1955 and was a ‘major display of town and country’ in its heyday. According to CityCo, the show exhibited ‘the best of fruit and vegetable produce, horticultural expertise and inventions, flowers of every sort, fashion items, vehicles and machinery, nuts, sweets, trinkets and even livestock - from horses, cats and dogs to guinea pigs and white mice.

‘To add to the eclectic mix, there was horse-jumping, vintage car and motorbike displays and the latest fire service and police vehicles were on display. The crowds were serenaded and entertained by brass bands, dancers, singers, acrobats and even The Red Arrows. It brought communities together from across Greater Manchester and the wider region.’

2020 02 27 Manchester Flower Show Chris Payne
Now part of King Street Festival, Manchester Flower Show transforms the historic shopping street Chris Payne

On a hiatus from 2003, the show finally returned in 2018 as part of King Street Festival. Now somewhat more demure (you won’t find white mice or aerobatics), it’s nevertheless still a colourful treat and sees King Street bloom with exuberant displays. This year taking place from 6th-7th June, the event also includes a market of gardening products and outdoor accessories…plus flowers of course.

Have green fingers? Organisers are currently calling for entries from professional and amateur gardeners, florists, landscapers, architects, charities and schools across the region. 

2020 02 27 Manchester Flower Show 2
The event is a colourful treat

Celebrating Manchester’s cultural diversity, this year’s theme is ‘Around the World’ and can be interpreted in many ways, from choosing a country or national flower to taking inspiration from a particular terrain or country’s flag. With a diverse mix of entries anticipated, designs could include everything from desert cacti to English roses, coastal beaches to Japanese rock gardens or even French vineyards.

New for 2020 is a dedicated schools category, judged by the Royal Horticultural Society, in which schools can enter designs for a small planter that represents their favourite holiday. Entries can be from an individual pupil, class or the whole school collectively and planters should be designed using a reused, recycled or inexpensive object. Entries could be inspired by a beach holiday, sports camp or even a particularly memorable weekend at the park during summer holidays. To download more information and to apply visit Manchester Flower Show School Applications.

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This year’s theme is ‘Around the World’

In addition to schools, there are three further categories; all judged by Royal Horticultural Society Head Gardeners, with winners receiving a coveted Manchester Flower Show rosette and the chance to be crowned ‘Best in Show. 

The following two are aimed at professional garden designers, floral event companies, artists, architects, landscaping and garden companies, cultural attractions, charities, universities and colleges. They should demonstrate quality creative design and build, with original use of materials and plants....

Pocket Garden

These small show gardens (from 2m x 5m) should communicate the theme and the message of the brand or group where relevant.

Green Takeover

Taking over urban features such as lamp posts, balconies, entranceways or even bus stops, these inventive and unusual green installations should use plants that would thrive in an inner city setting.

2020 02 27 Manchester Flower Show 4
The show is known for its quirky installations

As for amateurs, the category below is ideal for first timers as well as more established florists and growers… 

Floral Bicycle

For this quirky and fun category, entries need to display plants, flowers or cut flowers using a bicycle as the base.

Entry is free, with no cost for using the spaces allocated, and the deadline for completed applications is Friday 6th April 2020

For more information and to download an application form, visit Manchester Flower Show Applications or contact lucy.russell@cityco.com

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Floral bicycles are a fun challenge

Opportunities are also available for flower, plant, produce, artwork and ceramics traders at the flower market. Meanwhile community gardening groups, wildlife societies and horticultural colleges can share details of their latest inspiring projects and services by bringing an information stand. 

Organisers are additionally welcoming anyone wanting to run interactive workshops or demonstrations, such as floral crown making and beginner’s flower arranging.

Supported by RHS Bridgewater, the Manchester Flower Show is part of King Street Festival. Hosted by Manchester Business Improvement District (BID), this fashionable weekend also includes live music, alfresco dining, conversation, historical tours, cocktail trails, VIP shopping experiences and much more. The King Street Festival 2020 will take place on 6th — 7th June. 

Follow @kingstfestival for event updates.

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